How to Choose a Shop or Tattoo Artist

Referrals

Get referrals from friends or family members that have tattoos. You will want to find both a tattoo parlor and an artist that comes highly recommended. Getting your tattoo done at the same place as friends and family can make you feel more at ease. You can relax knowing that the parlor and artist is a save and clean choice. If you can’t get any referrals from friends or relatives for any nearby parlors, start searching online for local places with great reviews. The shops and artists with the most positive feedbacks are the locations you will want to go check out as potential candidates for your tattoo.

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The Vibe

Don’t decide on the parlor and artist based on referrals or online reviews alone. Make your own decision. Visit as many parlors as you can and take a look around. The parlor should be kept clean and the artists should all be friendly and inviting. Talk to some of the artists if you can. How do you feel when you first walk in? The vibe you get from just entering a parlor can be enough to make a decision. If you’re uncomfortable when you walk in, that’s probably the way you’ll feel the entire time you are there. If you feel at ease the second you enter a parlor, that’s a good indicator that you’ve found the right place. However, don’t forget to check out the artists and see if you can find one you’re willing to give you your first tattoo.

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Portfolios

Talk to as many artists as you can. Choose an artist you feel comfortable with. If you can easily sit and talk to him or her, that is a good sign. If the other artists make you feel a little uneasy, don’t work with them. It’s nothing personal. Some personalities click while others clash. Only work with an artist you know you can stand to be around for several hours. After all, getting a tattoo can take up a lot of time and you wouldn’t want to be stuck with an artist you don’t like. Aside from personality connection with an artist, you will want to check out their portfolio. If they don’t have one, don’t work with them. You want to be able to look at their work and see if the artist’s personal style fits your specific needs. If you like their previous work, you will likely appreciate what they can do for you.

Appointment/Consultation

Make an appointment to speak with the artist you selected. This is a huge step in your tattoo decision making. An appointment or consultation will allow you to have enough time to speak with your artist one on one. You can tell him or her about the design you want and they can tell you how long it will take. The artist will also be able to make suggestions about the size and color of your tattoo. They can make expert decisions to ensure that the tattoo design will flatter the area you want it on and can offer advice on colors that will work best with your skin tone. Having a consultation with your tattoo artist will help you wash away any doubts that you may have. Speaking with the artist also allows you to feel more comfortable with your artist and the decision you’ve made in the tattoo design.

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Bid

During the consultation, ask about the price and get a bid. You will want to have a good estimate on how much the tattoo you want will cost. You want to make sure you can afford it because you will need to pay for it on the day it is done. If the price is a little too expensive, you may be able to have a smaller size with fewer colors done to make the tattoo more affordable. If you don’t want to change the design, you can start saving money. Your artist will be more than happy to schedule your tattoo a few weeks or months later if you need to.

Artist’s Drawing

If you have a design in mind, but aren’t sure of the colors or size, the artist can draw you an example. Most artists will work with you until you find the perfect tattoo. They might suggest different colors or other decorative accents to make the design more unique. Artists can help with every step in the process to ensure your satisfaction with the tattoo design.

Full Price

After you and the artist have come to an agreement, you can then be informed of the full price and set up the actual appointment time for your tattoo. You can also ask how long the tattoo will take, so that you can set aside enough time for the big day. The full price does not include the tip for the artist. Just like going to get your hair done, make sure you have enough money set aside to give your artist a nice tip.

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